Yesterday I was walking and couldn’t stop thinking about how much I dislike formatting. Yeah, MLA, APA, all of those triple letter format styles, I don’t like any of them. Must have an intro, body paragraphs, and a conclusion. What if it’s not the end? What if I don’t want to conclude? (Even though I is usually end with some form of a conclusion…) Perhaps it’s the reason why I loved the songs The Weeknd produced in his earlier days so much. They’re long, they’re rule breaking, and he shows real emotion and thought in them. It’s not clean cut and polished. It’s rough around the edges to some, with curse words sprinkled inbetween and drawn out notes that last a life time as you anticipate the next verse.
I know that I also comply to these rules of what proceeds what and how each thing should be written properly in order for it to be universally acceptable, but I can’t help but feel it constrains some people’s creativity. You could have a very passionate writer with many thoughts and insights draw a blank when deciding what to write because the confines are so limiting.
Formatting is unnatural. It’s not human. Sure it’s man made, but it’s not a representation of the variety of how the subconscious pours out thoughts. It doesn’t show the inconsistencies in the pace and the perspectives. Sometimes you second guess yourself, sometimes you show a bit of humanity when your thoughts ebb and flow and each word isn’t a polished piece of perfection. There are tangents erased that could have shown you a bit about the writer’s thoughts.
That’s why I like reading poems and stories, or stream-of-conscious writing. It isn’t written to please the reader, it’s written to get the thoughts out and articulate them before they cease to exist in our fluid memory of the thoughts that run through our minds. When I read it, I can feel the liberation the writer had knowing that the words could finally be on a page to live a new and unencumbered life. This kind of writing gives our subconscious a chance to speak and it’s beautiful.
With closed eyes, you begin to imagine your body in the space you have hidden from sight with the aid of your eyelids. The water trickles down your body and you’re at ease, but soon your blind perception has been lost at sea. There are waves and exaggerated features. Your head feels so heavy you get the sense that you have been transformed into someone’s bobble head toy. You feel tall. Then short. The fat. Then thin. Soon your entire body betrays you, each part taking turns warping itself into a shape and size you’ve never seen before. Eventually, the relaxation paired with madness ends as you shut the water off, dry your body and seek comfort from your bed. You lay naked, confused as to what is real and what is not. There is no connection with the body you see in the mirror and the eyes it belongs to, so the message of what shape, hew, and size your body is, is no longer properly conveyed. You rationalize that you know you’re healthy, but your mind doesn’t recall that when it takes you on the roller coaster through the amusement park of what is reality and what is not.
If I had to identify one thing that has always been, and will always remain a part of me, it would be that writing/ reading is one of my favorite experiences. There has never been a more expansive and encapsulating mode of communication, than the written word. Now I’m not talking about texting being better than face to face conversations. I mean those times when there are so many thoughts, but none make their way out as well as you’d like. Then you sit down and begin to write and order those thoughts exactly how you wish you would have said them aloud. Or if you’re fortunate, you took your time to think about them before misrepresenting them by speaking too soon.
One of the most amazing aspects of writing, is that it can evoke so many emotions if crafted well. It can bring a reader a sense of love, happiness, joy, enlightenment, sadness, arousal, etc. Some of these may seem negative, but in the end, they all provide a sense of catharsis that is worth the temporary pain.
The gun has a mind of its own these days. It urges the question “why not shoot? what are we waiting for?” Because it does not know the specifics of the situation, it only knows that it is loaded and ready. I attempt to silence that recurring discussion because it is missing parts of the story, but truly, what is it missing on its end… It knows its purpose, it sees that the figure’s demise should have been long ago, so why don’t I shoot? Why don’t I end the life of that looming figure for good, why do I continue to let it ruminate in silence, not giving an answer for its presence. It is because the result of shooting the figure and choosing to use the gun’s power is not worth it. The figure provides pain, but it also provides bliss, comfort, satisfaction. It sits in those shadows of my life, drawing me back to the darkness. Though that is also where I feel my most alive, when I am with it. When I take the pleasure with the pain. When I have the markings of my mistakes into the next week to remind me of what I’ve done.
If the gun knew those feelings about the figure, it would question why I ever picked it up in the first place. Why I place it down ever so often, only to oblige the urge to pick it up the very next day with the promise to shoot, only to set it down for the night once again. I know I confuse the gun terribly, but it has never been my intention to shoot, no matter how much I humor the desire, it will never happen. For even though I hate that figure with a passion and cringe at the soul numbing thoughts it brings about, I will never give up on it, though I will never admit that to its face. So I will pick up that gun every so often and wave it in its face, but it should not worry about its life, because it will never cease to exist. If I murdered the figure a part of me would die along with it, and that is simply something I cannot face.
You stare contemptuously, letting the hate eat away at what remains of your character. All that lies before you is filthy, ridiculous, and unloveable. Unfortunately, that is an incorrect conclusion. What lies before you is the perfect example of care, humanity, and kindness. All that has been exemplified by that form in front of you is nothing but pure humanity, and you view it with the utmost disgust.
That’s where we falter. We see all the flaws immediately, sometimes never acknowledging those qualities that embody true perfection, true admirability. It perpetuates a vicious cycle of hate and creates an absence of appreciation. It is one thing to let these negative thoughts and comments silently ruminate in one’s mind, it’s another to continuously voice them aloud to taint the current rapport.
The most unexpected things occur when one spreads love rather than hate. One receives love back, the world becomes a better place to live in. It’s miraculous to see the results and watch happiness and love spark from every action, setting the world ablaze to create a bonfire of positivity. Soon all the flaws are unique features we’ve never seen. Those actions of ridiculousness, imperfection, lack of attention that causes us to stumble, are the pieces of humanity that spill out of us to signify to others that no one is perfect. While simultaneously discovering that it is this same quality of imperfection that leads one to claim that the one they love is perfect.
Day by day, the gun becomes more appealing. Lately I’ve been ready to shoot. I’ve picked it up very infrequently up until now. Though recently, my hand has had it gently grasped, ready to pull that trigger and kill that figure once and for all. I still don’t want to, but the figure keeps getting closer, making threats, stabbing at my heart, coming close to ripping it out. It would be much simpler to just end its existence, because that seems to be what the figure wants these days. At first I thought the figure wanted to simply provoke a reaction to finally be noticed and re-acknowledged, but since then things have changed with the figure. Assisted suicide. That’s what it wants. Or is it? I’m not quite sure…
Nobody knows. It would take attention. Intuition. A moment of not focusing on oneself. There’s beauty in this world, but there’s also an area of darkness that remains inconspicuous to most. No one notices it within others very often. It’s all internal. It’s all in our heads. Well that’s the most dangerous thing for one’s sanity. For their mental health. For their happiness. To continue going on through life, caring about others, wanting to connect to them, needing to connect to them, but not feeling the same care reciprocated. It’s like you’re that cashier that continuously asks distracted customers how they are, and wishing their ungrateful ass a good day when you finish giving them what they bought. You’re left feeling alone, while standing surrounded in a crowded room. You’re never alone in the literal sense, but you’re always alone in reality. Depth doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Intimacy is a rarity. No one knows how to connect anymore… Actually, that’s not true. No one cares. There is a lack of interest. “Focus on someone but myself? Make someone feel valued? Have genuine interest in someone? Pshh that’s too much work, I’ll just let people treat me like some amazing discovery while I remain indifferent towards them.”